Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 46–56 | Cite as

Spawning site selection and redd gravel characteristics of sea trout Salmo trutta in the lowland streams of Lithuania

  • Nerijus Nika
  • Tomas Virbickas
  • Antanas Kontautas
Original Research Paper


To date, no characterization of spawning habitats on scientific basis was made for the eastern Baltic salmonid populations. The aim of the present study was to characterize spawning habitat preferences and redd gravel structure of sea trout in lowland streams of western Lithuania. The redd position at the habitat-unit scale, microhabitat hydrological characteristics and the redd gravel structure have been analyzed. The spawning site selection by sea trout was related to the in-stream characteristics, but not to the riparian features. Redds were positioned mainly in the transitional pool-riffle zones, associated with close proximity to potential cover for spawners. At the microhabitat scale, sites with relatively consistent hydrological parameters (mode of water depth 0.25–0.40 m, flow velocity 0.4–0.7 m s−1 and Froude number 0.2–0.4) were selected from a wide range of available sites. Egg incubation conditions, in terms of the redd gravel structure in the spring, were of intermediate quality, while varied widely within particular reaches. According to the results of the present study, it is apparent that sea trout have particular preferences for spawning sites, which should be considered in emerging river-restoration projects.

Key words

salmonids reproductive ecology microhabitat fines sedimentation 


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Copyright information

© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nerijus Nika
    • 1
  • Tomas Virbickas
    • 2
  • Antanas Kontautas
    • 3
  1. 1.Coastal Research and Planning InstituteKlaipėda UniversityKlaipėdaLithuania
  2. 2.Institute of Ecology of Nature Research CentreVilniusLithuania
  3. 3.Department of BiologyKlaipėda UniversityKlaipėdaLithuania

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